Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Thursday, February 08, 2007
A Question
Jaded Thea asks an important question. As you may know, there is an army officer, Lt. Ehren Watada, who is on trial for having refused to go to Iraq:
Prosecutors presented witnesses Tuesday who testified that however sincere Watada’s beliefs might be, there was no way to justify an outright defiance of the chain of command.

So then, how come people who participated in war crimes in WWII were prosecuted when they had “just followed orders”? It seems to me that there is clearly precedent that in times of grave moral injustice, dissent is not only a moral obligation, but, perhaps, a legal obligation as well?
I'm not sure of the answer either. It appears that each member of the military has to decide, not the morality or even legality of their decision, but rather the likelihood of being on the losing side or being ultimately prosecuted.

While true, it's a helluva way to run a society.